When you’re home-bound after major snowfall, these tasks will help keep stuffy, polluted indoor air at bay.
Fresh fallen snow on the ground is a beautiful sight — until there’s two feet of it piled up to your front door and you’re stuck at home until the plows arrive. If you live somewhere with intense winters, you know that being at home for hours with all the windows closed in the middle of winter is a recipe for polluted indoor air. The good news is, you can avoid all that stuffiness and enjoy fresher indoor air by adding a few to-dos to your winter storm preparations.
A winter storm emergency kit is a must-have for anyone living in snowy areas, especially rural places where it can take longer for snow to be cleared or electricity to be restored. Start with a box of staple items suggested by the National Weather Service — think first aid kits, bottled water, extra pet food and prescription medication. From there, you can add air quality care items. If the power goes out, battery-powered fans can help circulate stagnant air that can hold onto pollutants like virus particles, pet dander and mold.¹ If you’re using candles or a fireplace, air can also be polluted with soot and smoke.
If you still have electricity, an air purifier can filter tiny particulate matter out of your air. Filtrete™ Smart Air Purifiers use True HEPA filters, which capture 99.97% of airborne particles* in rooms up to 310 square feet. Plus, you can monitor indoor air quality and your filter’s life through Bluetooth® and the Filtrete™ Smart App.
Believe it or not, your HVAC system can be negatively impacted by a blizzard. Some HVAC systems connect to the outside of your home via a fresh air intake vent that filters outdoor air into the system when you use the air conditioning. At the beginning of winter, make sure to close it so snow doesn’t get inside and cause condensation or freezing in your vents.
Consider hiring an HVAC specialist to inspect your system before winter arrives. The last thing you want is to be stuck at home with a broken or malfunctioning heating system. It’s also never a bad idea to keep an extra Filtrete™ Smart Filter on hand in case you need to switch it out while you’re spending extra time inside.
If your home has a heat pump, periodically clear the snow from the top, sides and bottom of it during a storm to ensure it can properly drain when the snow melts. If it’s buried under the snow and you can’t get to it right away that’s okay — just be sure to clean around it as soon as possible.
When you’re spending extra time inside, you’ll want to get rid of any common household items that might pollute your indoor air. Many cleaning supplies have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be irritating to sensitive individuals, like children and people with asthma.² These include glass cleaners, bleach products, paints, aerosol sprays, dry-cleaned clothing and even some hobby supplies.² Put these items in a garage or shed where they’re sufficiently separated from the rooms you’re spending the most time in.
*As small as 0.3 microns, from the air passing through the filter media. Initial efficiency value.